The Missouri Press-Bar Commission

The Missouri Bar created the Missouri Press-Bar Commission to foster better communications between the media and the bench and bar. Established in 1972, the commission is composed of media professionals, lawyers and judges who traditionally meet twice each year to develop a variety of projects and programs to promote a better informed citizenry and strong First and Sixth Amendments. Past projects include seminars on Missouri's Sunshine Law, the News Reporters’ Handbook on Law and the Courts and the News Reporters’ Legal Glossary. Jean Maneke of The Maneke Law Group serves as the current president of the commission. The commission also currently has a subcommittee tasked with reviewing Missouri’s Cameras in the Courts Rule. 

The mission of the Missouri Press-Bar Commission is:

  • to encourage cooperation between the press, the bar and the bench to the end of further strengthening service to the First Amendment and the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States throughout Missouri; 
  • to provide leadership and guidance aimed at achieving a better informed citizenry that will be serviced by a still higher order of justice; 
  • to take whatever steps are necessary throughout an educational program for the press, the bar, the bench and the people of Missouri to promote a better informed citizenry and a strong First and Sixth Amendment.

Current Press-Bar Commission Members Include:

Representatives of Missouri Press Association

James White, Benton County EnterpriseDalton C. Wright, Lebanon Daily Record

Representatives of Missouri Broadcasters Association

Bob Priddy, Missourinet (ret)Curtis Varns, General Manager, The Networks of Mid-Missouri

Representatives of The Missouri Bar  

C. Ronald Baird, Baird, Lightner & Millsap PC John DeMoor, DeMoor Law FirmTheresa L F Levings, Badger & Levings LC

Representative of the Judicial Conference of Missouri 

Hon. Mary R. Russell (Vice President), Supreme Court of Missouri

Representative of Trial Judges Section of the Judicial Conference of Missouri

Hon. Michael Cordonnier, 31st Judicial Circuit

Representative of Missouri Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges

Hon. Leslie Schneider, 13th Judicial Circuit

Representative of Missouri Municipal and Associate Circuit Judges Association

Hon. Todd Thornhill, Springfield Municipal Court

Representative of Missouri Court of Appeals

Hon. William Francis Jr., Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District

Representative of St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Christopher Ave, Political and National Editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Representative of Kansas City Star

Chick Howland, Projects and Enterprise Editor, Kansas City Star

Members at Large

Jean Maneke (President), The Maneke Law Group LCMark S. Sableman, Thompson CoburnLiz Irwin, Publisher, Missouri Lawyers Media

Honorary Non-Voting Members

Chief Justice Zel Fischer, Supreme Court of Missouri

Associate Non-Voting Members

Mark Maassen, Executive Director, Missouri Press AssociationMark Gordon, Executive Director, Missouri Broadcasters AssociationZoe Linza, Executive Director, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. LouisCrista Hogan, Executive Director, Springfield Metropolitan Bar AssociationSebrina A. Barrett (Secretary | Treasurer), Executive Director, The Missouri BarBetsy AuBuchon, Clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri Victoria Mauck, Executive Director, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association Mark Horvit, Associate Professor, Missouri School of JournalismDirector, State Government Reporting ProgramBoard of Directors, National Freedom of Information Coalition